Thank you so much Matt, for your reply. I visited the articles you listed. I couldn't find anything on the first one, How to troubleshoot, but I know what is the problem. The Mail program is corrupted somehow. The second one was helpful to how to reinstall the software, but I worry that all my files in the many folders I have could be lost! That scares the bejeezus out of me as I am an academic researcher and need the files! I have the original system software CD and can do as the article advises but are you able to tell me if what I fear is unfounded? Thanks again. It was really good of you to respond.
How full is your Mail app?
How full is your iMac's internal hard drive?
How much RAM installed in your iMac?
How many other applications do you run in the background while accessing the Mail app?
Do you run any antivirus software on your Mac? Antivirus software can slow down the normal operation of OS X.
Do you run any "crapware" like Mackeeper or any other type of "crapware" like so called hard drive "cleaning" apps?
Your hard drive could be failing.
With hard drives, it is not a question of IF the drive will fail, but When will it fail.
If you have your original Snow Leopard disc, I would start up from this disc, when the installer starts, you can go up to the main menu bar and quit the installer.
From the menu bar, look for the Disk Utility app and run this from the disc. Run the repair disc option on your iMac's internal hard drive.
While the drive is still still working, I would suggest that you backup any important data ASAP to either optical discs, flash drives or external hard drive that you may need to purchase.
Should always have a secondary data backup for any important data that resides on the computer itself.
MichelPM, you are very generous with a reply. I am unable to address your questions at the moment, too many errands and things to do but I will sit later this evening and go over each and every one of your questions. I do use my computer for lots of data collection and retrieval for use, as I said I am an academic (we have to publish or perish!). So until later, grazie!
MichelPM, I don’t know how to find out how full is my Mail app. I confess to being mostly an ignoramus about computer hardware, software, applications storage and usage. I know where to look for some stuff, but I don’t know what all the information means. I found the page under About this Mac Serial-ATA that gives the following info: Macintosh HD:
Capacity: 319.73 GB (319,728,959,488 bytes)
Available: 270 GB (270,003,339,264 bytes)
Then under Memory Slot there are two banks in Bank 0 all categories are empty but Bank 1 says
Size: 1 GB
Type: DDR2 SDRAM
Speed: 667 MHz
I usually have three browsers open and one to two wordprocessers (Word and TextEdit), the resident Dictionary. When needed but closed when done with the current activity are Preview, Adobe Reader. I do have a lot of documents on the desktop and filed in folders are uncountable. I could commit most of these to flashdrives if I have to, but I’m not sure how to save all the stuff I have in folders in the Mail app. I do not run any antivirus or “crapware” software that I can find in the MacHD applications folder. I’ve never downloaded such programs. I will commence to copy to external drives data I wish to preserve. Can I copy the entire mail set of archive folders to an external hard drive? I have a La Cie.
With much appreciation for any help you offer,
We need to determine a little more info about your iMac.
When you click About this Mac in the upper left main menu bar, a popup window appears.
In this window is a More Info button. Click this button.
Look for the Mac model number indentifier (my model ID for my iMac is 10,1)
I believe that your iMac maybe starved for RAM.
1 GB of RAM is a very bare minimum for running any version of Mac OS X.
Esspecially low RAM for Intel versions of OS X.
We need to determine what year and model iMac you have so we can recommend increasing the RAM amount to amount your model iMac can take.
If you have a lot of documents and folders on your desktop, you will need to take the time to organize these an minimize the amount of items on the desktop. If you have actual folders and documents sitting on the desktop, these could be causing slowdowns on the desktop because your iMac has to process all of these all the time because they are always present on the desktop.
When you first open mail, the amount of messages are located at the top of the window.
If you want to know the data size amount, in the left hand panel, you click once on the any of folders and use the key combination Command-I.
Apple Mail allots 15 GBs total to the Mail application for saving mail.
You may need to go through all of your mail and start thinning out deleting no longer needed emails. Go through your Inoboxes, sent mail and Junk Mail to delete unwanted emails.
Also, make sure you empty the trash in the Mail app, too!
Another thing, make sure you have actually emptied the OS X Trash icon in the OS X dock and just not put things in the Trash icon. If there is a paper full look to the OS X Trash icon, then you need to actually empty the OS X Trash.
Thank you, MichelPM, for your attention to my problem. Apology for the delay in responding, but I work and then had to deal with other life problems. Okay, I found the Mac model number identifier, it is iMac4,1. The 1GB RAM is what came with the computer when purchased. Yes, I have had the habit of keeping lots of files and folders on the desktop. I have been trying to consolidate by topic into files and will continue to do that, also copying stuff to flashdrives and deleting the files from the desktop but that will take some time and I'm squeezing my life into my life these days what with semester starting up again (I teach). Yeah, I realize life is tough for eveyrone or nearly everyone. I so much appreciate your help. And yes, I have started to "thin" out the mail folders. I'm too embarassed to talk about those and how many are there, so when I started looking I was shocked so I started right away to dump. I admit to mindlessly just saving things and it has been years. I know this computer is at least from 2007 since I've found email correspondence with friends that old! Yikes! I don't really need to keep all this stuff but I do have to be selective, which, again, takes time. So I will busy myself with all this mowing z'lawn. I have already emptied trash and junkmail and sent mail, keepnig these folders as empty daily, and filing inbox mail by filing some in archival folders or dumping them. I keep the OS X Trash emptied also. I will proceed to do my duty as instructed and look to future correspondence. I will notify through this discussion my progress. I probably need to buy some RAM, right? I'll start saving up for it. So to have a startingpoint: there is 269.93 GB available, and the desktop is indicating there are 58 items on it (some of which have many many documents in folders)
Your iMac model year is a 2006 model.
Unfortunately, that year model can only take a maximum RAM amount of 2 GBs of RAM.
2 GBs of RAM is better the 1 GB.
Purchase another 1 GB RAM module to max out your iMac's RAM.
It may help with some of your iMac's performance issues.
Correct and reliable Mac RAM can be purchased from online Mac RAM sources Crucial memory or OWC (macsales.com).